Rays at Jays, the finale
UPDATE, 6:05: Maddon said Bartlett felt better today, but there remained a 50-50 chance he would end up on the DL and that a decision would be made before Friday's game, meaning either Bartlett has to be able to play by then or the Rays would put him on the DL and bring up another player. He suggested that player would be there to provide offense, which would seem to make INF/OF Dan Johnson a good guess. ... Otherwise, Maddon said he tweaked the lineup as much as he could to combat the "reverse-split" effectiveness of Toronto starter Shaun Marcum, a righty who is extremely tough on lefties.
UPDATE, 5:01: So too will Navarro. Didn't get a chance to ask Zobrist. Maddon said only that "they're switch-hitters" and can do whatever they prefer.
UPDATE, 4:45: Taking the strategy even further, Aybar said he will hit righthanded tonight vs. Marcum.
UPDATE, 3:50: Manager Joe Maddon hinted at an unusual lineup to combat Toronto's Shaun Marcum tonight, and he delivered. Marcum is a righty who is much tougher on lefties, so Maddon is using more righthanders than he typically would against a righty (ie, Kapler, switch-hitting Navarro and Aybar) and sitting 1B Carlos Pena.
Here is the lineup:
DEVELOPING: Just when it seemed like SS Jason Bartlett was headed to the DL due to his strained right hamstring, he was on the field early this afternoon taking ground balls at shortstop under the watchful eye of head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and infield coach Tom Foley, and seemed to be doing okay but not moving too much. So at this point, it's not safe to even guess what's going to happen.
The Rays are looking to ride the momentum from Tuesday's dramatic and unlikely comeback, when they scored four runs in the ninth inning on just one hit, a bases-clearing double by Sean Rodriguez.
David Price will be on the mound tonight, determined to "get back to being me,'' after a rough outing in his last start. He still shares the AL lead with 7 wins.
Also on the field for early today, Hank Blalock and pitcher Andy Sonnanstine working with outfield coach George Hendrick.